Luck of the Irish


St. Patricks day is celebrated around the world on March 17th

Kennedy Wilker, Writer

St. Patrick’s Day, an Irish religious holiday, is celebrated every year on March 17. It has been celebrated for over 1,000 years. The Irish holiday is centered around the death of St. Patrick, the Saint of Ireland. The holiday has come to be a celebration of Irish culture and religion in Ireland and all around the world. 

One famous icon of the holiday is the Leprechaun, originally known as “lobaircin” meaning small-bodied fellow. In folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls who were responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their treasure. It was believed that wearing green would make you invisible to the leprechaun’s evil ways. Leprechauns have their own holiday on May 13, but are also celebrated during St. Patrick’s Day.

The shamrock is the symbol for St. Patrick’s Day. It was originally known as the “seamroy” meaning clover. Many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride for Ireland. The green of the shamrock became the official color of St. Patrick’s Day. Senior Maria Mollenhauer said, “Wearing green is what makes me think of St. Patrick’s Day the most.” The previous color for St. Patrick’s Day was the color blue. Wearing orange was thought to bring bad luck while green brought good luck.

In celebration, every year as a tradition, the Chicago River is dyed green. Dyeing the river has ecological benefits as it monitors and controls pollution. Originally, enough dye was released into the river that it stayed green for an entire week. Less dye is used today and it only stays green for several hours. Mr. Adam Woitalla said, “The history behind the river is fascinating and something I look forward to watching every year.” St. Patrick’s Day is known to be a global holiday with traditions that anyone can participate in.